EnergyWatch

Energy traders said to be probed in UK over spark spoofing

The UK's energy regulator is investigating manipulation in derivatives prices in a probe, focused on alleged efforts by UK traders to push up the price of spark spread contracts.

Photo: Guiliano Koren

The UK's energy regulator is investigating whether traders manipulated some derivatives prices, according to documents seen by Bloomberg News and a person familiar with the situation.

The probe, known as "Project Damson," is focused on alleged efforts by UK traders to push up the price of spark spread contracts, which reflect the profitability of gas-fed power plants, by posting and then canceling orders in short succession, the documents show. Authorities across markets have been clamping down on so-called spoofing since it was cited as a catalyst for the Flash Crash in US equities in 2010.

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